Showing posts with label strike news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label strike news. Show all posts

Darjeeling tea Workers on a hunger strike for a 20% annual festive bonus.

5:45 PM
As you sip your favourite Darjeeling tea planning how to enjoy this festive season, tea garden workers in Darjeeling are on a hunger strike for a 20% annual festive bonus.

A 12 hour bandh has also been called in Darjeeling Hills tomorrow. Union leaders plan to hold hunger strikes 'in front of garden offices' from Thursday. Tamang, the Morcha leader, has announced 'an indefinite hunger strike' from October 6 if the bonus issue is not resolved by Friday.
Darjeeling tea Workers on a hunger strike for a 20% annual festive bonus.
Darjeeling tea Workers. 

The hills have not witnessed such a protest since the 104-day shutdown in September 2017

All seven trade unions of about 87 tea estates of Darjeeling in West Bengal have called for a 12-hour strike on Friday after the failure in talks between leaders of unions and the managements of gardens over the bonus issue. The unions have given a "bandh call" from 6 am to 6 pm on October 4, a trade union leader said. Trade Union Leaders and workers of Darjeeling Hill Tea Industry are observing hunger strike in demand of payment of 20% Bonus in Darjeeling town and tea gardens. Tomorrow will be 12 hours work off in Darjeeling hill.
Kalimpong to Join in the 12 Hour Bandh on October 4. Kalimpong has decided to join in the 12 hour bandh scheduled for October 4 in the Darjeeling Hills.

Bhuwan Khanal, Spokesperson, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha talking to media persons in Kalimpong on Thursday stated "Expressing solidarity with our garden workers Kalimpong district will also remain closed on October 4 for 12 hours. Business establishments will remain closed and vehicles will not ply. However emergency services have been kept out of the purview of the bandh."

Out of the 87 gardens in the Hills, 6 fall in the Kalimpong district. The bandh is in protest against the management failing to disburse bonus before the festive season. While the trade unions have demanded 20% bonus, the management is not willing to climb up from 15%. Multiple rounds of talks have failed to break the deadlock.


9:09 PM

Rekha Sharma, the chairperson of National Commission for Women, is in Darjeeling hills for three days to examine allegations of violation of women's rights and police atrocities during the statehood agitation last year.

National Commission for Women has scheduled to visit Kurseong, Mirik and meet common people, including some of the complainants. Commission has also scheduled to visit jails and conduct an inquiry into police atrocities and examine cases where women have been named as accused and are behind bars. Recently, a Darjeeling resident had accused a police officer of threatening to torture women members of his family, following which a complaint was sent to the commission.

Meanwhile, Nari Morcha (GJMM women wing) supporters have protested the visit of National Commission of Women in Darjeeling today as their visit to Darjeeling at present may disturb the current situation.

GORKHALAND DEMAND: 100 Days Bandh and a Gorkha's inner-turmoil

10:19 AM

Writes: Noel Giri.

Successfully or unsuccessfully we have completed 100 days of indefinite strike over the hills without exemption or relaxation. Is this our success or failure! the question remain unanswered and hovering with different opinions or views (it might differ on politically, socially or personally); lets not make argument on it because it is a personal choice and personal freedom of evaluation of it.

Here, I just want to highlight some of the important issues or matter of concerns after observing our course of Gorkhaland agitation in the hills. And I strongly believe we must have habit to do assessment of what we have achieved or not!

1. 2017's Gorkhaland agitation itself created a history with such a long and continuous strike over the hills. It proved solidarity and an unshakable unity among the Gorkha community. Despite of political barriers or principles, religious and cultural barriers, we did it with strong unity among each other.

2. Participation of every level of community of Gorkha and other communities who are resides in the hills is another milestone of our agitation. Every level and every section has shown mark respect, sincerity and sacrifices (leaders are exempted) with our long-pending demand of Gorkhaland.

The above mentioned positive sides of our agitation till dates, gives more courage and strength to go forth. But unfortunately, while having assessment we must not have to be selective with good gains only, we have to accept or evaluate our failures too!

It doesn't mean we all are anti-Gorkhaland. It doesn't mean I do not support Gorkhaland. I do support whole heartedly. But healthy criticism is demand of healthy politics.

I have highlighted some of our weaknesses or setbacks during course of our agitation which I have observed closely as follows:

1. Political conspiracy and lack of legal-knowledge: As we have seen political conspiracy among hill parties, which made it easy for state government to play 'divide and rule' policy. Some of our leaders only thought about their own political benefits and played blame game among each other. We have also seen lack of legal advice to some of our political leaders on legality and how to make himself or herself clean throughout the agitation! It is necessary for a leader to make himself/herself clean-handed during agitation to lead the people's movement. Because, without leader, movement doesn't have longer life span. 

Unfortunately, our leaders only trapped with illegible allegations and conspiratorial acts of state government by using government machinery and force unconstitutionally.

2. Lack of strategy: First half of our agitation (15th June to 1st of July) was very crucial. When we have got nationwide attention via national media houses, that time our hills' political parties/leaders must needed to make a solid strategy(s) to make it more effective. But due to violation and internet blackout by the state government, remained unable to highlight our movement nationwide. And our agitation slowly crippled down by the state government within our jurisdiction. Violence and damaging public and government properties made a bad impression on our agitation (we must agree with it). Due to lack of strategy during first phase only made our agitation flexible and strategically failure.

3. Lack of will-power among political leaders for demand: God knows why this agitation been started and for what purpose (s) it would be for our leaders!

Agitation remain doubtful throughout its course of movement due to lack of political will-power. Common inhabitants of the hills put all their efforts with sincerity for Gorkhaland demand but isolation of political leaders from same movement made our movements flexible and weaker day by day. Failure of GMCC, aimless agenda and strategies, repeated interference by majority party in the GMCCs' functions, lack of collective decision, irresponsible and aggressive comments and reactions by the local political leaders, lack of frontline leadership during agitation are the major setbacks of our agitation.

Now, after completing 100 days of Bandh, still we are empty handed and feeling we the people of hills are betrayed by the leaders and some of the opportunists. Many of us laid their lives, many got injured, so many stories to tell about our people's sacrifices but, still we are speechless and empty-handed.

What can we do now?

It is not over. Still we can reach to our destination. But,

1. We need to up bring educated people/leadership to lead our movement strategically with a real goal. Most importantly we need a sincere leader with our ultimate demand for the hills, nor an opportunist.

2. I must say, Gorkhaland is a long-run battle. Gorkhaland demand is a marathon nor a 500mt race. So we need long-term strategy, political diplomacy (because we have to fight this battle constitutionally in between central and state government) and visionary builder of Gorkhaland.

During last 100 days of Bandh, we have missed long course of education system. Students missed education and learning skills. Here I am not emphasizing only academic curriculum, I emphasised learning because education doesn't mean only finishing annual academic curriculum, it is beyond of that. If we do not build our future foundation of upcoming generation strong (educated) then I do not think we can even imagine a fruitful Gorkhaland for common and deprived people of the hills irrespective of castes, regions, religions and parties. Education is key to open the doors of opportunities and it can change anything. Therefore, neglecting education is great loss of ours only.

Strike only is not an effective movement or solution for Gorkhaland demand. Now we need to be constructive otherwise, after 100 days of bandh, why still our demand is pending!

Youngsters are frustrated and depressed. They already missed many.

There is a strong possibility of human trafficking and anti-social activities (some of it we have witnessed already). I myself heard following lines by saying "  I will go outside of Darjeeling, if I will get 6k salary also I will do that." "wish I could get job somewhere out of Darjeeling...."  "....Nothing is here, my future is dark."

These are not wishes, if we ponder on it sincerely, we will find a big compulsion, which makes them away not only from movement but away from the hills itself. I think this is one of the big failure of our leaders that they are unable to connect youngsters with ongoing movement of Gorkhaland. Youngsters are tired with filthy and opportunist politics played shamelessly over the hills.

Now, let us unite as before, lets impart a new vision and awareness among the common people of the hills, about our demand and destination. Need to spread value of awareness of demand among upcoming new generation too, because they are the ones who lead us in future. And lastly, let us make our Gorkhaland on the safe hands of educated, skilled, honest, empowered and able leaders of the hills.

Then our martyrs of Gorkhaland, who laid their precious lives for it, will smile and take rest peacefully!

"We shall overcome one day!"

Via The DC

GJMM BANDH CALL:-Section 144 imposed

3:31 PM

-GJMM has asked tourists to leave Darjeeling and warned those who stay on during its attempted lockdown of administrative offices

-Section 144 has been imposed in some areas, particularly around District Magistrate's office, treasury building and court

Section 144 has been imposed in some areas, particularly around District Magistrate's office, treasury building and court. Second 144 was in place in some parts of the Hills ever since trouble started but the enforcement has actually begun since Monday.

The areas, where important government offices are located have been put under heavy security cover.

Toy train services - a major attraction for the tourists - have been suspended but schools and colleges are open. Traffic was reported to be thin in Darjeeling city as many people chose to stay home fearing violence.

GJM supporters reportedly set ablaze a PWD office near Government college. The flames were doused by fire services personnel, but the building suffered extensive damage. The culprits soon fled the spot. No arrests have been made yet.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters have torched a Block Development Office in Bajanbari , ADG Darjeeling, Siddhinath Gupta, said the situation has been brought under control, and three people have been arrested in this connection.

[Pics: PWD office near Government College. The flames were doused by fire services personnel, but the building suffered extensive damage. The culprits soon fled the spot. No arrests have been made yet.] [Via: various sources]


6:32 AM

Situation continues to remain tensed as both sides ramp up political rhetoric.

The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) today called an indefinite shutdown of government and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) offices in Darjeeling hills from Monday.

The GJM, however, exempted schools, colleges, transport, hotels from the purview of the shutdown and said banks will remain open only twice a week.

"There will be indefinite shutdown in GTA offices, banks and government offices from Monday. The banks will open twice a week for public transactions. We have exempted schools, colleges, transport, hotels from the purview of the strike," GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told reporters here after the organisation's central committee meeting. He also announced that all the signboards written in Bengali will be removed from Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Mirik, Siliguri, Terai and Dooars region and signboards only in English and Nepali would be allowed.

"We will not attend GTA offices. Thrice a week we will organise torch rallies in the hills," he said. GTA and government offices will, however, remain open for four days from June 27. Earlier in the day, GJM supremo Bimal Gurung said that he was not for strikes. Gurung also called for "non-cooperation" movement with the state government and accused it of looting resources from the hills and depriving it of basic amenities. He said that agitation in Darjeeling hills will not stop until and unless a separate Gorkhaland is formed.

"If TMC wants to play with fire they will regret it," he said. "We will appeal to the people not to cooperate with the state government. It is taking away so much resources from the hills and what are the people of the hills getting? We are getting nothing. "This has to stop. We will fight for our freedom and will not allow the divisive politics in the hills," Gurung said. The GJM leadership today wrote to the Centre urging it to look into the Gorkhaland demand.

Mamata warns GJM of action, says will not go for compromise

In a stern warning to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) for resorting to violence in Darjeeling, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said the state government would not go for any compromise and deal with those who violated law.

"They (GJM) have become politically bankrupt and resorted to violence. I hope good sense will prevail on them. We cannot live in peace by resorting to terror and violence," she told reporters at 'Uttarkanya', the mini-secretariat, here. "We have compromised a lot and it seems that now we have our back against the wall. You can compromise for the good and for peace but it cannot be done for bombs and arms," she said.

Indicating that the state government would act tough, the chief minister said the superintendent of police for Darjeeling has been changed and three senior IPS officers were sent to deal with the situation in the hill town. Asked whether GJM chief Bimal Gurung would be arrested for the violence in the town on Thursday last, she said law will take its own course. "If anybody has violated the law, he will be dealt accordingly".

The hill station had turned into a virtual battlefield after GJM supporters clashed with the police on Thursday when they were stopped from marching to the Raj Bhawan where the state cabinet meeting was underway. Reiterating her opposition to the bandh, Banerjee said, "Bandh is illegal. Even the High Court has declared it illegal." She said the election to Morcha-controlled Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) would be held and the new board will assume office by August 2.

"We will go to the people. They will also go. We will wait for the people's verdict", she said. Yesterday, Banerjee had stated that Morcha-led GTA had "failed" to carry out any development work in the hills and when their term was scheduled to be over next month, they have started "torturing the public". She also called for strengthening tourism industry in the hill town.

The situation in Darjeeling is "very stable and peaceful", the chief minister said, adding she was hopeful that everybody would contribute in maintaining peace. About the situation in the tea industry, Mamata accused CPI-M, Congress and BJP of "playing dirty politics" in the hills and said they would be held "responsible" if tea gardens are closed. "The Modi government had promised to acquire seven tea gardens but they have not done anything. We are helping the tea garden workers in every possible way," she said. The chief minister said the state government was open to negotiation and urged tea gardens workers not to pay heed to the CPI-M, Congress or the BJP and go for strike.

Via: PTI

GJM Meeting Update: Indefinite Strike from Monday

10:58 PM

In a meeting held today which ended later in the evening, GJM has decided to observe indefinite strike across Darjeeling hills, Terai, and Dooars from Monday onwards. However, the strike will be limited only to the government establishments, including GTA. Schools and colleges have been kept completely outside of bandh purview, while banks have been allowed to operate on Mondays. Vehicles will also operate normally.

The highlights of the decisions taken in the meeting are:

*GJM to observe indefinite strike from Monday. All the govt offices (Central, State & GTA) to remain closed for indefinite period. School, Colleges to remain open and vehicles to run normally.

*All the posters and hoardings in Bengali to be removed from Darjeeling hills, Terain and Dooars.

*All party meeting called on June 13.

*Banks to open only on Mondays and Thursdays.

*27-30th June - All Govt. Offices & Banks to remain open.

*Every Monday evening GJM will hold torch rallies across Darjeeling hills, Terai & Dooars.

*Thursdays and Fridays - GJM to hold rallies demanding Gorkhaland.

Education strike in Darjeeling to protest linguistic imperialism

10:27 AM


Writes: Vivek Chhetri

Bimal Gurung yesterday called a two-day education strike in the hills this week and a series of marches during the chief minister's impending visit to protest the state government's move to make Bengali a compulsory subject at schools.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president announced the agitation at a session convened by the party with Nepali literary figures, college professors, representatives of educational institutions in the hills and social organisations like Gorkha Dukha Niwarak Sammelan, teachers and other apolitical people here.

"The government is trying to force a language on us and its not acceptable. We will protest the move vehemently and I will personally take to the streets. We will request the closure of all educational institutions in the hills on June 1 and 2. I am hearing that they (Mamata Banerjee) will be coming to Darjeeling on June 4 and during this period, we will show our resentment by holding marches with black flags across the hills from June 4 to 8 (during chief minister's entire stay in the hills)," Gurung told the gathering at Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan.

The protest against the Mamata government's decision to make the learning of Bengali compulsory at schools across the state seems to be moving out of the realms of political domain. Representatives of top schools in the hills, like St Paul's School and St Joseph's School (North Point), were preset at the meeting called by the Morcha.

Before Gurung had announced the strike, the gathering called upon him to start a strong movement on the matter.

In the hills, most students have English as their first language and Nepali as the second language. Making Bengali compulsory would mean that there would be no choice left and it would be a tall task for educational institutions in the hills to find teachers for Bengali language.

Gurung said he would participate in the marches from June 4 onwards in Darjeeling. In the hill town, the procession will be taken out from Ghoom to Darjeeling town, a distance of 8km.

He has called for similar marches across the hills and the Dooars and the Terai as well. "If the need arises, we might even call a general strike in the days to come," said Gurung.

Language has been a major issue in the hills, which had agitated for almost three decades for the recognition of Nepali in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution. Nepali was listed in the Constitution in 1992.

The Bengal government had recognised Nepali as an official language for the hills in 1961.

Jiwan Namdung, a Sahitya Academy award winner, said at the meeting that "making Bengali compulsory is wrong and unacceptable".

"Since the government is looking at making Bengali mandatory in the hills, can they reciprocate by making Nepali compulsory in the plains, too? We salute their decision to safeguard their language but they have to address our concerns, too," he said.

Prem Pradhan, also a Sahitya Academy award holder, spoke on similar lines and said the decision could be a sinister ploy to "suppress the Gorkhaland demand".

Bishal Thapa, the secretary of the Hill College Professors' Association, said: "While Bengali language is being made mandatory, provisions have not yet been made to make Nepali literature an option in the state civil services examinations. In State Eligibility Test, Nepali is not a language in which one can sit for the examination. There is a political motive behind the move to make Bengali compulsory."

Political observers believe if the state government does go ahead with the language decision, it might have to face widespread backlash given the sentiments attached to the language in the hills.

Gurung said: "Such giants of the society are with me today, not to support the Morcha but to stand by the community. I request all other parties to participate in the protest setting aside all political differences."

[Via: Telegraph]

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